Thursday, December 27, 2012

How did Joseph feel?

We went to church early on Christmas Eve so we could find a place to sit. As we have done during the past three years we picked a small church in the mountains, to avoid the crowd and appreciate the celebration. We sat in the first pew listening to the Christmas choir and looking at the decorations, waiting for the church to fill and Christmas Mass to start.
Kids are reading books. I am trying to pray... It's snowing  outside and I worry about driving down the mountains in the dark.  I always tend to worry.

There is a large Nativity scene near the altar and I notice Saint Joseph. As I stare at him, I think about how he must have worried on that evening and night when he arrived in Bethlehem with Mary. They probably had no money and could not find a place to stay. Then Mary tells him she knows the baby is coming soon now. Did he panic? He did not have a safe and warm place for her to give birth. They find a stable, a place for animals. Probably not clean and comfortable. How did Joseph feel welcoming his first born son and placing Him in a manger? What a humbling experience for a father, especially for Joseph, who knew Jesus was to be the son of God. Then people find out and come to see the baby, to pay homage. They all witness the poor and raw circumstances.

I wonder how worrisome and trying that experience really was for Saint Joseph. The Bible does not tell us much about it. He was a man, like all of us, with doubts and fears. But he had faith.

Faith is a gift we are all born with, but like every gift, it has to be nurtured with practice and patience.

Christmas Mass is now about to start. I pray I can continue in my path of worrying less and embracing joy more.

Thank you for your sacrifice and example of faith, Saint Joseph.

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